4 Truths About Finding “The One”

I am a sucker for romantic comedies. I love watching the perfect cliche love story unfold– and everyone lives happily ever after. Unfortunately this isn’t the experience for many of us. Love is messy. Difficult. Hurtful. And often a waiting game.

And yet, despite the messiness of love, some part of us deep down still desires it. And there is a reason why we feel this way. We as humans have an inherent desire to love and be loved. It’s been this way since the beginning of time. In Genesis, God says “it is not good for man to be alone” so he made Eve. And yet, many of us find ourselves in this gap of knowing what we want and what we think we deserve, and knowing that its out there, but not seeing or experiencing it yet.

So, we are left with one of two options:

1. We try to muster up enough patience to wait, hoping that the right person will come around

or

2. We settle. We lower our standards until we find someone that can fill the gap.

So the question is, how do we begin to navigate this middle space? How do we find faith to believe that we can find love after being hurt so many times? How do we find the patience to wait for the right person when it seems that the clock is going to keep ticking?

Below are 4 truths about finding “the one”. I hope that reflecting on these truths will give you the strength and the tools you need to navigate through the middle.

  1.  His job isn’t to fulfill you. It is to love you.

Often times, we never truly find “the one”, not because we haven’t found the person, but because we expect that person to be something for us that they were never meant to be. We are looking for them to give us purpose when only God can do that. We are looking for them to fill spaces and voids in our hearts that were only meant to be filled by God. If we are looking for joy and fulfillment in a relationship, we will always come up short and will never truly be happy. Because God is the only person who can bring “fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11). People are never going to be perfect. At some point, they will let you down. Even the best spouse in the world messes up from time to time, and has flaws that are present in a relationship.

Until you are content enough with yourself that God is enough for you and your fulfillment is found in him, you will not find true joy in a relationship with someone else. You will be seeking from man what can only come from God. Only when you can find your fulfillment in God can you truly experience love as you were meant to receive it from another person.

 2. Stop making other’s experience your expectation.

It is so easy to see another’s relationship, the timing and the way that it happened, and idealize that to the point where you have decided “that is how God works”. But what we don’t realize is God may have worked in that way, but that is not the ONLY way God works. God is a unique God, and you are a unique person, stop trying to put God in a box, and let your story be unique.

As I mentioned, I am blessed to be happily married to an amazing, godly man. I also know many godly women my age and older that are living faithfully single, trusting in the Lord’s plan, and hoping for a God-fearing husband one day. That doesn’t mean they did something wrong, or they’re being punished because they haven’t found it yet. That doesn’t mean that I have done things right because I have. It simply means that God in his sovereign wisdom is choosing to work differently in each of our lives.

The stories of others should be a constant reminder of how gracious and powerful God is, but should never discourage us or make us think that our story must look the same. Let your story be your story!

*Side note for all of my single ladies: singleness is a precious gift from God! You have the time, freedom and opportunity to pursue dreams and callings that those of us who are married do not. How can God be glorified in your singleness? What can you pursue now in your life that you will not be able to when you are married? What adventures should you be embarking on in this season of your life  as you write your unique story?*

3. While God is preparing them, prepare yourself.

God is preparing the hearts of men all around the world to steward and love his precious daughters. Often times, our focus stays so much on the “Is he ever going to come?” when in reality the question should be asking is, “Will I be ready when he does?”. If God sent you the perfect man tomorrow, would you be at a place in your life where you would be ready for a relationship with him?

The right person at the wrong time is the wrong person.

Therefore, we equally have to trust God’s timing, as well as prepare our hearts to be ready to steward the gift when God chooses to send it. If we are expecting to find a godly man who can love us the way that we need to be loved, we must equally prepare ourselves to be godly women that can love him as he deserves to be loved.

If you focus on becoming the person that God has called you to be, then you will be ready when God does bring you “the one”. We have to trust His timing, and do our part to be ready when it comes.

4. Stop settling.

The hardest part about the whole process of love is the wait. But in the wait, the worst thing we can do is settle for less than we deserve. Stop lowering your standards. God has made it clear in his word what a godly husband looks like, therefore we should not expect anything less when looking for our husband. Here’s the secret: If we do not budge, and continue to keep our standards at the level where we know they should be, men will rise to the occasion. If we show them that we are willing to accept less than we deserve, they have no reason to rise above our lowered expectations. Lowering our expectations is showing that we don’t trust God to do His job in raising up godly men. We must trust Him, and we must be patient. What do standards that aren’t lowered look like?

A man who is honest, kind, faithful, and full of integrity. A man who will respect, honor and cherish you. A man who will guard and protect your heart. A man who will love you as Christ loved the Church, who will lead your family in the Lord, and who will love you in a way in which you will flourish in the woman you are called to be. That is who God designed your husband to be— Don’t accept anything less.

 

I want to leave you with a testimony from a dear friend, not to idealize, but to be an encouragement of God’s divine grace. When He is first, in His timing, when our hearts are prepared, and when our standards are high, He writes a beautiful story:

My husband and I met because I prayed for him. The night before we met, I was tired and frustrated by the men I had been dating. They didn’t treat me well. I never felt appreciated or wanted. I got down on my knees in my parents basement (moved back in with them after college) and had the longest heart to heart with God I’ve ever had. I told him that I didn’t want to date anymore. I explained exactly what I wanted and asked that He not send anymore men my way until it was the right one. I promised to be patient. The crazy thing was that He sent my husband to me the VERY NEXT DAY! It’s my favorite blessing!”  

 

 

When They Can’t See Past the “Old” You

You ever run into someone that you haven’t seen in a long time, and they call you by your middle or high school nickname? We always have a tendency to associate people with the way we came to know them, even when more often than not, people change over the course of their life.  Labels such as “The athlete” , “the jerk” or  “the nerd” are in the back of our minds attached to people that we have come to know. We unknowingly box people into the identity we once knew them as. And while we are quick to do this to others, it is frustrating when its done to us, especially when our past is a little messy. (Whose isn’t?) Who wants to be remembered by that mistake they made in high school for the rest of their lives? It restricts us from having the freedom to become a better version of ourself.  I love the Bible, because the same things we deal with today, people dealt with back then.

“And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him.”
‭‭Mark‬ ‭6:2-3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
http://bible.com/114/mrk.6.2-3.nkjv

The people who knew who Jesus used to be (a carpenter) couldn’t accept who he now was, even though they recognized and knew his works, and even called them mighty! They were offended by his change (which in reality was always him) because it didn’t fit into the lowly reputation of a carpenter they had associate with him. It didn’t matter the fruit, or evidence that his life now showed, proving that he was who he said he was. The people who knew his past were dead set on keeping him there, and were offended that he didn’t fit into their picture of him. They were offended that he would be something “greater” than he used to be.
Isn’t it funny that people haven’t really changed much?

The Bible says when you follow Christ, you become a new creation. The old has passed away, the new has come. ( 2 Corinthians 5:17)

Don’t be surprised when people who knew who you used to be you can’t see past the old you. They will be offended when you change for better. They refuse to see the new you. They will treat you with the “who do you think you are” mentality, as if you don’t have the right to mature into a better version of yourself, or have your life radically changed for the better.  They did it back then, and they do it today. But just as Jesus told the disciples, shake off the dust and keep on walking. He has better things & people in store. Jesus did not do his greatest works in his hometown, because they were to stubborn to get past their narrow mindset. So he saved his greatest works for a bigger and better crowd.

Keep on walking, and surely there will come a better environment for the new you to flourish in.

What Are You Worth?

Worth: the value equivalent to that of someone or something under consideration; the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated.

What are you worth? Or to be a little bit more real, what is the level at which you deserve to be valued and rated?

We may try to convince ourselves that we deserve to be valued, but often our actions indicate otherwise. The dark reality is that under the surface, many of our hearts are in a constant state of competition with ourselves and others to prove our worth. We go to great lengths to prove to ourselves that we are good enough; worthy of love and attention. We seek validation from things outside of ourselves because it makes us feel good and gives us confidence and satisfaction in ourselves. Until we are aware of where we are seeking our worth, we are bound to that which we are seeking it from. We are drawing from a well that will only leave us thirsty, seeking over and over again to prove to ourselves that we are good enough. It’s exhausting. It wears you down. It makes you question who you are, and often makes you wonder if the you that everyone sees is truly the real you.

We all in our human weakness fall into this trap. But how it happens looks different in each person.  If you were to take honest inventory of yourself, you would likely fall into one of the following 3 categories, or perhaps overlap into multiple of them.

1. You find your worth in others.  

  • Relationships mean the world to you, and you always have to be in one. You feel wanted and valued when you are in a relationship. You are seeking this so much, that you are willing to be in a relationship where you are not treated as you should, or even with someone who you don’t truly love, because it is better than the alternative of being alone.
  • You find you your validation in the feeling that others need or appreciate your efforts. You exhaust yourself trying to serve others and receive their gratitude, because it makes you feel needed and appreciated. You often make yourself vulnerable enough to be taken advantage of in order to be needed.
  • You can’t be alone: you find your value in the identity of the people who you’re with. You feel empty inside so you try to surround yourself with people who have what you want or are who you want to be.

2. You find your worth in accomplishments.

  • Success is your best friend. Whether it be in a career, sport, or activity, you are driven by the idea of winning, and feel terrible about yourself when you don’t.
  • Your competitive nature goes beyond healthy, because how you feel about yourself is dependent on what you can accomplish.
  • You are never satisfied with what you have. It is never enough.
  • You are in an exhaustive state of comparison with those around you, trying to see how you measure up.

3. You find your worth in people’s perception of you. This is the most comprehensive list, and most self-explanatory, as it relates to every aspect of life.

  • You obsess over your physical appearance, and are always wondering what people are thinking of you.
  • You don’t pursue your true dreams and desires for fear that people may judge you.
  • You determine your worth by the people you hang out with.
  • You are wiling to go to great lengths to earn a spot in a specific crowd.
  • You obsessively check social media, and seek approval through your notifications.
  • You feel pressure to achieve to a certain social or economic status in order to live up to family or friends expectations.
  • You hide your true feelings for fear of being misunderstood or ridiculed.
  • You work or are working towards a career that you are not happy or does not suit your talents simply because of its appearance to others
  • You find fulfillment in knowing that other people like you
  • You replay criticisms and compliments from others over and over in your head.

After reading through these bullet points, most of us find ourselves replaying circumstances in our head that will place us one or more of these groups. To be completely transparent, groups 2 and 3 have bound me for most of my life. The funny thing is, it wasn’t until I was in a season of struggle that my eyes were opened to it. You see, finding value in these things, though exhausting, can be temporarily fulfilling when circumstances are going well. The problem is, they aren’t permanent. In fact, they are quite fragile. The moment you get broken up with, you lose your job, or you are criticized, your value and self worth comes crumbling down with the fragile identity you have created for yourself. The reality is, as long as we are succumbing  to the descriptions in this list, we are bound to that which we are seeking our worth from.

Value in the temporal is fleeting. But there is one source of value that is not fleeting, not temporary and not fragile.  One source in the entire world that is not dependent upon circumstance. One relationship that will never let you down. One accomplishment that will last forever. One opinion of you that will never change. This source is permanent and unchanging, that which you can have the utmost confidence in.

Jesus is the perfect friend, in that he will never leave nor forsake you. His victory on the cross will never fail, and cannot be taken away. It will last forever. His opinion of you is unchanging, because He is unchanging. And He says that you have immeasurable worth that can never be taken away from you. Don’t believe me? Here’s what God’s word says about you:

  1. I am created in God’s image. (Ephesians 4:24)
  2. I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  3. I am God’s incredible work of art (Ephesians 2:10)
  4. I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139)
  5. I am chosen (1 Thessalonians 1:4)
  6. My life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
  7. I have boldness and confidence to access God through faith in Christ (Ephesians 3:12)
  8. I am redeemed and forgiven (Ephesians 1:7)
  9. I have been set free (Galatians 5:1)
  10. I am no longer a slave (Galatians 4:7)
  11. I am accepted by Christ (Romans 15:7)
  12. The peace of God guards my heart and mind (Philippians 4:7)
  13. God supplies all of my needs (Philippians 4:19)

Lord, I am thankful that I am who you say that I am. Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice, and that I no longer have to strive for my internal value, but because of what you did on the cross, I can rest in who I am in you.